Fishing Lures for Beginners: Part One

If you’re new to fishing, we will help you out when you come fishing with us. However, you may be interested in learning some things before you come out on the water with us. In this article, we’ll be tackling the subject of fishing lures. What kinds work best with what fish, the advantages and disadvantages. This two part blog series should help everyone – novices and experts alike might be interested in taking a look. We hope you enjoy learning more about fishing lures and we also hope to see you out on the Kona water with us.

What are Fishing Lures?

As the name might indicate, fishing lures are an artificial bait meant to lure the fish over to a fishing line or hook. Lures use movement, vibration, flash and color to bait fish.

Advantages of Fishing Lures

  • Much less messier than live bait
  • Lures don’t gut hook very often.
  • You can target the species you are after more efficiently with lures since certain lures work better with certain species (more on that below).
  • Lures are easy to replace.

Disadvantages of Fishing Lures

  • Lures are fairly expensive, especially when compared to bait.
  • Sometimes lures can be snagged, usually by unseen underwater obstacles. And since they’re expensive it hurts to lose them.
  • Might be harder to catch certain types of game fish without using live bait.

Types of Fishing Lures

There are 7 main types of lures that include jigs, spoons, spinners, soft plastic baits, spinnerbaits, plugs,and flies. Today we will be covering jigs, spoons, spinners and soft plastic baits.

Jigs are some of the most versatile fishing lures available. They are fairly inexpensive and are able to catch most game fish. Because of this, they are one of the most popular fishing lures available. They are made up of a book with a lead head and a trailer, jigs can imitate everything from live saltwater bait to invertebrates (and everything in between). If you need to catch a fish that’s deep in the water, a streamlined jig head will sink faster while a wider head will flutter down. The size of the jig SHOULD match the size of the trailer – make sure the trailer on the jig is threaded so that the hook comes out the trailer ahead of the bend. Pass the hook once you’re through the wide end of the trailer. When you use a jig lure, just know that jig fishing can take a lot of concentration. This is because how the lure moves in the water depends on you. If you do nothing, the jig will just sink.

Spoons are metal lures that are curved. Actually the first spoon lures were in fact just spoons with handles broken off! Now spoon lures are available in any color or size and can be used for almost any fishing situation.

The shape of this lure gives it a distinctive type of movement – one that almost looks like the way an injured baitfish moves in the water. Game fish, of course, love injured bait fish. If you’re a beginner, you will most likely being using the most common type of spoon – the casting spoon. Casting spoons are heavier than trolling spoons so they can be thrown a long distance.  You will just cast and retrieve this spoon – just varying the speed as long as it’s wobbling. If it starts to spin, slow down your retrieval. Casting spoons are great when you need to imitate a small bait. Some spoons are made to be cast, others to be trolled, and some even to be jigged.

Spinners are another great beginner lure! They’re simple and easy to use. They’re a metal shaft with a spinning blade with a bare or dressed hook – depending on your preference! If you drag the spinner through the water, the blade will spin (which is obviously how it got its name) The spinning creates sound and vibration and attracts any fish that can hear it through their lateral line. You just need to cast and retrieve!

Soft plastic baits can be made up with lots of different lures – the classic, of course, being the plastic worm. They can look similar to most other little fish and creatures like worms, crawfish and lizards. The soft bodies of these lures encourage the fish to hold onto them a little bit longer before they are spat out giving the angler (you!) time. These baits come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes – bright colors work best on sunny days while darker days require a darker color bait. Soft plastics can be cast and retrieved.

We will continue this discussion of lures next week right here on the blog. For now, think upon what kind of lure seems to suit you best, and which lures might work best for you when you go fishing with us in Hawaii. Next week, we’ll cover spinnerbaits, plugs, flies, and, of course, which ones work best on the open sea.

If you’d like to try out lures and fishing with us, call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your Big Island fishing charter!

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Six: Ten Cool Facts about Black Marlins

When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish. We knew our readers might enjoy 10 amazing facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Kona Fishing Charters. Today’s blog article is dedicated to facts about Black Marlins, which you will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) when you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters!

Ten Cool Facts about Black Marlins

Black-Marlin

1. The Black Marlin is found in the tropical and subtropical waters, including the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The Black Marlin has a wide geographic range as to where it can and will live in the ocean.

2. Black Marlin are an extremely migratory species of fish. Black Marlins can travel great distances across the oceans. One individual Black Marlin fish has been recorded to have traveled all the way from Australia to the coast of Costa Rica, culminating in a travel distance of over 9000 miles across the Pacific Ocean.

3. The appearance of the Black Marlin is fairly distinctive, like all billfish. However, the Black Marlin is the only marlin with non-retractable fins! Other than that though, the Black Marlin, like all billfish has a sword-like upper jaw. Its dorsal fin is fairly low compared to most other billfish. The dorsal fin stands less than 50% of the fish’s body height. The dorsal fin is dark blue, while its belly is silvery white, and faint blue stripes run down its sides. The blue stripes darken when they’re excited.  While males may reach a length of 4.65 m and a weight of 750 kilograms, females are generally much larger than that.

4. The Black Marlin, like other billfish, are apex predators. That means that they’re an alpha predator or the top of the food chain (excluding humans). Black Marlins feed mostly on small tunas as well as other smaller fishes including squids, cuttlefishes and more. However, the smaller fish that Black Marlins feed on are not as small as you might imagine. It’s a very relative term considering that Black Marlin can weigh over 500kg. In fact, Black Marlins over that weight have been found with 50kg tuna in their stomachs! When they feed on their prey, Black Marlins use their long, sharp bills to tear apart their meal.

5. Although the Black Marlin’s appearance and migration patterns have been well examined, scientists know little of the Black Marlin’s longevity. They have very few ideas concerning how long Black Marlins live – their natural lifespan is still a question mark for the scientific community.

6. Black Marlins spawn by external fertilization. A single pregnant female can carry up to 40 million eggs!

7. These fishes are considered one of the fastest swimmers on earth, often speeding up to 80 mph (130 km/h). They zip through the ocean.

8. Typically, Black Marlins tend to remain in shallow waters. Since this species belongs to the indo-pacific region that means that the Black Marlin is found near islands and coral reefs. The Black Marlin rarely swims below a depth of 30m. Due to their migratory nature at times they enter temperate waters rather than just tropical.

9. In terms of records, the largest Black Marlin recorded weighed in at 1656 pounds and the oldest Marlin found was 32 years old.

10. The species can fight fishermen for long hours. They’re very strong and very fast which makes catching them a fun battle. Not only that, but they often make spectacularly huge jumps out of the water when battling with a fisherman. They also tend to go deeper than normal in order to escape. Artificial lures and live bait are used to pull the black marlin from the water.

 

There are even more amazing facts about the Black Marlin. When you book a charter for marlin fishing in Kona with us out on the beautiful Pacific at Kona Fishing Charters, we’ll answer your questions about the Black Marlin (or any other Kona fish you’re interested in) as best we can. But there’s nothing like seeing a Black Marlin for yourself, especially once you hook it and bring it aboard.

Next time in our series of Kona fish facts, we’ll give you some interesting facts about the spearfish, another Kona fish you will probably see when you come out to fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters! Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Five: Ten Fun Facts about Tuna

When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish. We knew our readers will enjoy 10 cool facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Kona Fishing Charters. Today’s blog article is dedicated to facts about Tuna fish. You will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) some variation of Tuna when you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters!

Ten Facts About Tuna Fish

1. Tuna are pretty interesting fish because there are so many different types. Just off the Kona coast, there is the Yellowfin Tuna as well as the Albacore, Skipjack, Big Eye, and Bluefin. These facts will be about all of sorts of types of Kona tuna fish.

2. Tunas often school together. The yellowfin tuna in particular has a strong tendency to school with other tunas, especially ones around the same size.

facts about tuna

3. Tuna are migratory species, especially yellowfin tuna, which is considered “highly migratory”. Yellowfin tuna are found all over the world and can travel across an entire ocean. The Pacific Bluefin Tuna, typically found in the North Pacific, have been discovered as far as the South Pacific, which demonstrates their traveling capacity.

4. Food habits of the tuna are relatively the same across the species. The tuna will swim near the surface of the ocean to look for food, however they can also dive to the depth of 3000 feet to search for their next meal. They prefer to eat small fish that range from 1.5 inches to 6 inches, but will also eat squid and crustaceans (including crab larvae).

5. The average size of the tuna varies, but overall the Tuna is a large fish. It can reach the length of 6.5 feet and weight of up to 550 pounds. There is a recorded record of a tuna that was 21 feet long and weighed 1600 pounds.

6. The tuna belongs to the mackerel family and is a saltwater finfish. The mackerel family also includes the bonitos and the mackerels.

7. The tuna’s appearance is one that is considered sleek, streamlined, and adapted for speed. There are two dorsal fins on its back, very close together, although the first is depressible. Depressible means that it can be laid down in a groove on its back. There are also little fins that run from the front dorsal fins to the tail. The tail is curved although tapered at its ends. The caudal fin is thin with keels on each side. The dorsal side of the tuna is metallic blue while the ventral side is silvery or whitish. However this appearance varies amongst the different types of tuna fish. The Yellowfin tuna, as its name implies, is more yellow than the other species. There is a golden stripe that runs along the side of the Yellowfin. The second dorsal and anal fins and finlets are also bright yellow. Skipjack tuna, on the other hand, dark purple-blue backs while their lower sides and bellies are silver with four to six dark bands.

 

8. Tuna fish have a unique network of small arteries and veins near the muscles that warm the blood. The warm blood allows the fish to swim quickly in the water, it also increases the tuna’s strength. It needs this because tuna breathes oxygen from the water which makes it necessary for Tuna to swim constantly.

9.  Tunas have other predators besides human beings. Sharks and orca whales also find tuna delicious to eat.

10. Mating season of tunas depends on their geographic location. But when a female tuna spawns, one single female will release 30 million eggs. Typically, only two of those millions will survive until adulthood. Most eggs will be eaten by other fish and marine life. The average lifespan of all the different species of tuna is the maximum lifespan ranges between 15 and 30 years in the ocean.

There are even more amazing facts about the Tuna fish. When you come fishing with us out on the beautiful Pacific at Kona Fishing Charters, we’ll answer all of your questions about Tuna (or any other Kona fish) as best we can. But there’s nothing like seeing the Tuna fish for yourself, especially once you hook it and bring it aboard the boat!

Next time in our series of Kona fish facts, we’ll give you some interesting facts about the Black Marlin, another Kona fish you will probably see when you come out to fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters! Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

10 Awesome Tales of Record Breaking Fish

When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish. And some of you might break state or even world records when you’re catching these fish.  There’s always a chance when you come fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters!  We hope you enjoy these cool tales of record breaking fish in Hawaii.

Record Breaking Fish

  1. Gary Merriman broke a marlin record in 1984 in Kona, Hawaii, catching a marlin that weighed a massive 1649 pounds.  It was a phenomenal catch, overtaking the past world record by more than 270 pounds. The catch, however, was deemed an unofficial world record because the marlin was caught using a line and leader that was longer than was allowed by the IGFA rules.
  2. Another impressive Kona catch occurred in 2006, where Josh Bunch broke the swordfish record. Almost exactly seven years before that day, another swordfish was caught, breaking the record at the time at a weight of 365 pounds. But Josh Bunch beat that record by over one hundred pounds – his swordfish weighed 503 pounds. sword_natureswallpaper
  3. Another impressive, record breaking fish catch was made by Louis Bolos Jr. in Pohiki, Hawaii in 2011. The Albacore he caught was nearly 90 pounds and since Louis was using a 400 pound test handline, it was a true struggle of man and nature until Louis managed to bring the fish aboard.
  4. This Eastern Pacific Bonito fish may not be impressive in terms of weight or first glance, but Raymond J. Pregana’s catch is more impressive than it may seem. This Eastern Pacific Bonito fish is very rare and Pregana’s catch is the first recorded catch of the fish in Hawaii. He was fishing on his boat in 30 to 40 feet of water using a 20 pound test Ande line, an Okuma reel, and a Shimano Baitrunner pole when he felt the Eastern Pacific Bonito fish take his bait.
  5. An awesome 151 pound sailfish was caught by Rodney Takaki in 2013. Takaki used a live opelu as bait on his line. This catch broke a very long state record (one that lasted almost 30 years) by more than 30 pounds!
  6. In 1980, a Kona charter boat experienced a great day of fishing. Bill Bronsteme, Brad Bronsteme, Frank Didonna, Capt. Jim Hunter, and Fred Thibault caught a black marlin fish that weighed more than 1200 pounds. Around noon they hooked the marlin, but it took more than 12 and a half hours of fighting before they were finally able to bring it onto the boat. This fish is possibly the largest black marlin ever caught in the northern hemisphere. According to Captain Jim Hunter, they didn’t even realize what kind of fish it was when they caught it, it was only when they went ashore that they saw it was a black marlin.
  7. Another older example of a record breaking catch is Kathy Hunter’s mahimahi catch in 1987. The mahimahi was 82 pounds and this shattered the IGFA world record at the time.
  8. A beautiful, 135 pound opah fish was caught by Capt. Dale Leverone off the Kona Coast in 2005. Even though he used a 130 pound tackle and 200 pound test line the opah fought him for a while before finally being raised boatside. Typically, opahs can grow up to 6 feet in length and 600 pounds, so while this catch is magnificent, there’s a potential for catching even larger opahs.
  9. There was a great catch by Jayson and Branon Yim when they caught  a mahi mahi, while fishing off the Waianae Coast of Oahu. Using a Kimura pole, a Shimano reel, and a 150 pound test, they caught their 7.35 pound mahi mahi, breaking a state record.
  10. On a long two day trip in 2007, Capt. Marlin Parker, John Patterson, Bill Rhee and Tim Robertson targeted swordfish outside Kona. While out there, they landed a 952 pound thresher shark, breaking a state record. Unfortunately, they were disqualified according to IGFA rules because someone yelled out instructions. However, you can’t help but be impressed by the massive catch.

Break Your Own Records With Us

Next time in our blog we’ll return to our series of Kona fish facts. We’ll give you some interesting facts about Tuna, another Kona fish you will probably see when you come out to fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters! Perhaps you’ll even break a record while you’re here. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Four: Ten Fun Mahimahi Facts

When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will see and experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahimahi fish. We knew our readers might enjoy 10 cool facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Kona Fishing Charters. Today’s blog article is dedicated to the beautiful Mahimahi fish, which you will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) when you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters!

 

Ten Fun Facts about Mahimahi:

  1. The Mahimahi’s appearance is notable due to their brightly colored exterior which typically dazzles. The Mahimahi’s back is an electric greenish blue while its lower body is either gold or silver. Their sides have a mixture of dark and light spots. Mahimahi are often mistaken, at first glance, to be a relative of the pompano dolphin but they are not. Their dorsal fins extend nearly the entire length of their body. That is not the only thing that differentiates the Mahimahi fish’s appearance from the pompano dolphin – there is also a very wide square tooth patch on the tongue of the Mahimahi fish that is not present on the pompano dolphin. Male and females look different due to their different head shapes. Adult males have a square head shape that is high and sloping but females have a more rounded head that’s much less steep.
  2. Once out of the water, the Mahimahi will change color, going through several hues before finally fading to a muted yellow-grey upon death. However, since we practice catch and release at Kona Fishing Charters, we will hopefully not see that color when fishing the Mahimahi.
  3. Mahimahi can live up to 7 years of age when they are not killed by a predator, however most only live up to 4 or 5 years making Mahimahi a very short lived fish species.
  4. Mahimahi are rapidly growing fish. There have been cases of Mahimahi’s growing over four feet long in its first year of growth, and can grow up to 6.5 feet in four years.
  5. Mahimahi’s name is derived from the Hawaiian term of “very strong”. Mahimahi’s other name, which is the common dolphinfish, is possibly related to the Mahi Mahi’s large size (they range in size 12 – 70 lbs and average at about 4.5 feet) causing some to mistake it as a pompano dolphin at first glance. Although, as mentioned above, the dorsal fins of the Mahimahi’s are quite different than the pompano dolphins.
  6. The location of Mahimahi is spread out across the world as illustrated in the image below. The Mahimahi prefer water temperatures that vary between 74 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Mahimahi is a top predator of many species of fish. The Mahimahi feeds in surface water during the day and will eat many different types of species present in the sea including pompano dolphins, young tuna, octopus, squid, and jellyfish. Typically, the fish they eat are smaller than themselves.
  8. Despite Mahimahi’s reputation as a top predator, the Mahimahi is still preyed upon by other fish and even seabirds. Their common predators tend to be large tuna, marlin, sailfish, and swordfish.
  9. Mahimahi have a social structure that is especially prominent when they are young. However, they do not have support or nurture from their mother or father, unlike the marine mammals they resemble. Since they have no natural familial support the Mahimahi often travel in schools of 50 (or more) at this point in order to prevent being attacked by predators. However, as they get older, the Mahimahi is less likely to travel in such a large group, sometimes only traveling in pairs.
  10. Mahimahi (as well as many other fish) often swim near debris that often hold a complete ecosystem from microscopic creatures to seahorses and baitfish. With the help of an experienced fishing guide, like you’ll find here at Kona Fishing Charters, you will be able to tell what kinds of fish are underneath the debris based off the seabirds that are present, although we’ll typically be in the open sea.

There are even cooler facts about the Mahimahi fish that you can read about on the other websites that we have linked to in the above article which include NOAA. Or, when you come mahi mahi fishing in Kona with us out on the beautiful Pacific at Kona Fishing Charters, we’ll answer your questions about the Mahimahi fish (or any other Kona fish) as best we can. But there’s nothing like seeing the Mahimahi fish for yourself, especially once you hook it and bring it aboard the boat!
Next time in our series of Kona fish facts, we’ll give you some interesting facts about Tuna, another Kona fish you will probably see when you come out to fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters! Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

Kona Fish Spotlight Part Three: Ten Amazing Facts about the Wahoo (Ono) Fish

When you fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters, you will have access to experience many kinds of amazing and wonderful fish in the Pacific Ocean from the Pacific Sailfish to the Mahi Mahi fish. We thought our readers might enjoy 10 specatcular facts about each of these spectacular Kona fish that you’ll see with us at Kona Fishing Charters. Today’s blog article is dedicated to the Wahoo (Ono) fish, which you will hopefully see (and possibly even catch) when you fish with us!

 

Ten Amazing Facts about the Wahoo (Ono) Fish:

  1. The Wahoo (Ono) fish is known as the wahoo fish worldwide. This is possibly because when European explorers first mapped out the Hawaii islands, they discovered that the Hawaiian fish is plentiful around the island of Oahu. Oftentimes, Oahu was misspelled (by the European explorers) as Wahoo. This is where many people believe the origin of the Wahoo fish’s name is from. However, in Hawaii, the Wahoo fish is  known as the ono fish. Ono, in Hawaiian, means “delicious” or “good to eat”.
  2. As mentioned above, the Wahoo (Ono) fish is known to be delicious and it  used in many recipes throughout the world. It is mildly sweet tasting with a firm texture, moderate fat, and flakey when cooked. However, the shelf life is fairly short, so it must be cooked fairly quickly in comparison to other fish.
  3. The Wahoo (Ono) fish is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical seas, including Hawaii, the Carribean, Florida, and Central America, although the Wahoo (Ono) fish moves to more temperate waters in the summer months. The Wahoo (Ono) fish is mostly available in Hawaii during the summer and fall, from May to October. The Wahoo (Ono) fish is part of the Scombridae family of fish species. This family includes mackerels, tunas, and bonitos.
  4. The Wahoo (Ono) fish has a long body built for speed. It is covered in small scales and it has a blue back and silver sides. There is a pattern on the sides, full of vertical blue bars. In terms of its teeth, they’re razor sharp, making it easier to bite and catch their prey. When the Wahoo (Ono) fish dies, the colors in the scales fade away, making it a much duller color.
  5. The Wahoo (Ono) fish is known for its speed – it can reach up to 60 mph on the open sea, which makes it easier to both escape their predators and catch their prey.
  6. The Wahoo fish is fairly solitary. They are never found amongst large schools of their own kind, the most you will see at once will be Wahoo fish composed of loose knit groups that typically only have two or three fish.
  7. The Wahoo (Ono)’s lifespan is about nine years, which is relatively short compared to many other subtropical/tropical fish.
  8. Female Wahoo (Ono) fish are longer than male Wahoo (Ono) fish. Males, when reaching maturity, are about 2.8 feet in length when females, when reaching maturity, are about 3.3 feet in length. Wahoos can weigh up to 100 lbs, but in Hawaii, they typically weigh anywhere from 8 to 30 lbs. They also grow fairly fast, as they one study tagged a Wahoo (Ono) fish, released it and found that it had gained 22 lbs in ten months.
  9. The Wahoo (Ono) fish is capable of eating fish larger than themselves. The Wahoo (Ono) fish’s sharp teeth possibly make it easier for them to both catch and chew up the larger fish into bite sized pieces. The Wahoo (Ono) fish typically goes after many types of fish as well as squid.
  10. All Wahoo (Ono) fish are line caught, however trollers (with bait and lures) can be used to catch the Wahoo fish. However, this method is not as successful as line catching the fish, as you’ll see when you go fishing at Kona Fishing Charters!There are even more amazing facts about the Wahoo (Ono) fish that you can read about on other websites that we have linked to in the above article! Or, when you come fishing with us out on the open, Hawaiian sea at Kona Fishing Charters, we’ll answer your questions about the Wahoo (Ono) fish as best we can. There’s nothing like seeing the Wahoo (Ono) fish for yourself, especially if you get to see it close up after you catch one!Next time in our series of fish facts, we’ll give you some interesting facts about the Mahimahi, another fish you will probably see when you come out to fish with us at Kona Fishing Charters! Call us at (808) 960-1424 for more info on Kona fishing charters!